Xian Mackintosh told his parents that he was gay in a Facebook message. A new video from Mormon Channel tells how his parents, Becky and Scott Mackintosh, responded.
"There weren't really words exchanged other than he gave me a big hug and he said, 'I love you,'" Xian Mackintosh said in the video, recalling his first interaction with his dad in person following the Facebook message. "And I mean that meant the world to me. Even though he had all of these emotions in his head and he didn't understand it and I'm sure he had the anger, the first thing out of his mouth was what I needed to hear."
Still, Becky and Scott Mackintosh, a couple from Lehi, Utah, recall that for the first few years following Xian's announcement, they were convinced their son was just going through a phase, a phase that his dad, whom Xian describes as "a manly man," believed he had "chosen." That was until the two shared a conversation over Christmas break.
"Why would you choose this?" Scott Mackintosh asked his son, who looked at his father and "chuckled" before responding, "Dad, I didn't choose this. Why would anyone choose this?"
"And once that hit me, the pain and the suffering and all of the jokes that I had told him, all the mean comments, all the times that I said something snide about somebody else to the whole family and him sitting in that backseat sitting there thinking, 'My dad has no idea that he's talking about me,'" Scott Mackintosh said.
"All those times just came flooding back to me of the pain that my son had gone through ... and I just put my arms around my son and loved him."
Xian Mackintosh is now openly gay, and his parents detail their progression through this experience in the video.
"I should be curled up in a ball crying and thinking, 'OK, what has happened to my eternal family?' Once you let it go, like I am laying this on the Savior's feet, it just feels like this big load is lifted and you do have a peace," Becky Mackintosh says in the video.
Meanwhile, Xian explains that what he needed to know was that his parents still loved him.
"That was huge to me to know that we may have differences but at the end of the day, we're still family," Xian Mackintosh said. "How I treat people and my respect for others has so much to do with how I was brought up and raised in the gospel."
Watch the entire video here.